What We Can Learn From Ayla Brown

What Women Really Think
Jan. 21 2010 11:34 AM

What We Can Learn From Ayla Brown

/blogs/xx_factor/2010/01/21/what_we_can_learn_about_selfpromotion_from_ayla_brown/jcr:content/body/slate_image

Lauren and Meghan , I totally agree with you that a cultural double standard prevents women from getting away with the kind of self-promotion that men see as a natural right. And for evidence I turn to ... well, us.

Advertisement

Lauren, in your post on Clay Shirky's "Rant About Women," you seemed to lament the fact that an outspoken woman will draw charges of being "a bitch, a dyke, or other unsavory labels." Like "Tracy Flick," maybe? That's what you called Ayla Brown, a 20-year-old singer whose Web site is a little over-the-top, the day after you posted on women's reluctance to self-promote.

I'm sure you aren't the only woman in America who rolled her eyes when she checked out Ayla's site . I'm sure because I did, too. "The anthem girl"? Really? But wait, why is our reaction to a young singer with a Web site disparagement for enumerating her every accomplishment? She's an aspiring artist trying to make a name for herself-of course she has a Web site! It's exactly the sort of self-promotion that Clay Shirky would be proud of. But it's also exactly the sort of the self-promotion that's going to remain rare among women if every time they attempt it, we respond with taunts of "Tracy Flick."

Photograph of Ayla Brown by Ray Amati/NBAE/Getty Images.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 29 2014 10:00 PM “Everything Must Change in Italy” An interview with Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 30 2014 6:00 AM Drive-By Bounty Prudie advises a woman whose boyfriend demands she flash truckers on the highway.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 29 2014 1:52 PM Do Not Fear California’s New Affirmative Consent Law
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.